Monday, November 06, 2006

The Games Kids Play

Since I just wrote about the Poison Word game, it got me thinking about the different games my kids play.

A lot of them have to do with walking through the house--you can only walk on shadows, can't touch the carpet, can't touch anything red, brown, etc.

Then there are the lunch games--they name their fruit, or they break a pretzel and the others have to guess if it is "broken or fixed". Fixed? Did you break it and glue it back together? I have tried to point out that they should be asking "broken or unbroken?" but they ignore me.

Oh, they do normal games too, those are just the weird ones.

I remember when we were little my sister, Cathy, and I played a game at the lunch table. One of us was a well mannered child and the other was a goop. The goop got to eat with horrible table manners--smacking lips, huge bites, chewing with mouth open. The well mannered child had to teach the goop how to have good manners. I am sure our mother flushed with pride when she saw us play this game, because the end result was the reformed goop eating with beautiful table manners. Little did she know that we always fought over who got to be the goop.

We lived on a farm and had no television, so we did a lot of pretending. Our two favorites were "wagon train" and "living in the woods". In wagon train, of course we were Little House on the Prairie type girls traveling to Oregon with our parents. We would throw the covers on the bed all the way back and onto the floor. This was our seat in the wagon. All kinds of dramatic things would happen, usually resulting in sadness and tears.

In "living in the woods" we were poor little orphan girls living in the wilderness with only the animals for friends. We would make pets out of all the wild animals and they would bring us food and save our lives over and over. All kinds of dramatic things would happen, usually resulting in sadness and tears.

Notice a theme? We were all about drama. Actually, my sister was the creative one--I just played along.

Our poor younger sister, Megan. By the time she was old enough to play our pretend games we weren't playing them any more. Instead, I played "hide Megan's baby doll" or "slave". Guess who was the slave.

I have no idea what we are doing in this picture--it doesn't look good whatever it was. But it couldn't have been too bad since our mother got out the camera instead of going out and paddling my hind end.

I am not a big fan of kid's watching television, but my kids do watch PBS shows in the afternoons, along with movies or playstation games throughout the week. I have never felt that it has been a bad thing because they seem to play and imagine and pretend just as much as I did when I was little. They get ideas for a lot of their pretend games from television or movies, just like my sister and I got some of our ideas from books. So they aren't all that different than I was when I was a kid. I didn't name my fruit, but I am sure I did something equally weird.

Right now they are outside in the pouring rain floating peanut shells in the mud puddle, er, lake.

This is "Peanut", who according to my 9 year old son had "sailed the seven hundred seventy-seven seas and made it clear to the milk truck and back."

Watching them brings back memories of spending many hours floating sticks in the ditch.

Ahh, memories...

No comments: